Our local news comes from Eugene - located in Lane county which is north of Douglas. The news stories usually start off with some criminal activity in Springfield or Eugene. Sometimes human interest stories in Eugene. Rarely is the focus ever on Douglas. Except this morning. And updates throughout the day.
Tri City recorded population is 3,931, but Myrtle Creek says 3,439. I would guess both cities put together fall somewhere between the two numbers as we use the same zip code. The city of Riddle lies just south west of us. Their recorded population was 1185. That number has gone down by four due to a tragic fire.
I first heard about it after Jenna returned home from school. She reported that one of her classmates was killed in the fire, and another in critical condition at Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland which is more than four hours away by car. I don't know how they (his mom and dad also survived) were taken.
I remember a helicopter landing in the parking lot of the church that I lived across from in Kearns, Utah. It was there to life flight a victim to Primary Children's hospital in Salt Lake. Life Flight was offered, along with a lot of convenient medical options. The options don't seem so convenient in Oregon - at least much of it.
There is so much devastation in our small little community. The names of the family members had all been released to the press. The children who lost their lives were 4-year-old Gwendolyn Howell, 7-year-old Haley Maher, 10-year-old Isaiah Young and 13-year-old Nicholas Lowe.
Jenna said that all the kids at her school are wearing red in Nick's memory and perhaps to show their support to Andrew who's still alive - we hope. Our prayers are with the family.
Thank you to all the men and women who serve as firefighters. Thanks to all of thos who are willing to serve on the volunteer fire departments. God bless you all.